a disclosed letter from a parent to the Davis School Board
Dear School Board,
Summit needs to be removed from this [the Davis school] district. If the board does not intervene, our academic proficiency will continue to plummet, kids’ well-being will continue to diminish, more families will leave for private education, seek variances where Summit is not implemented, or homeschool. At the very least, DSD should be honoring material choices that students and parents want for their children’s education, and Summit is nowhere near what I expect from any school!
At this time, we have withdrawn our son from Centennial due in large part to the principal and the district’s dismissal, denial and ignoring of our valid concerns and requests for school material choices that are paper and original source documents and texts. These requests are lawful in a Free and Appropriate Public Education F.A.P.E setting. YET, our requests have been denied, stating my request is “untenable” because DSD has committed to a DTL program for five years. I sure wish they had dedicated themselves to improving academic proficiency and promoting and preserving a parent’s fundamental authority and right to direct the education of their child. Utah code supports parental direction, involvement, school choice, and accommodation, including reasonable material choices.
We have many reasons to exercise our authority with education material.
This platform assures us that it is “using” student information and so breaches student and family privacy, something many other families and I are not willing to risk. Based on reading the agreement made with Summit Learning Platform and Davis School District, I am not convinced that anyone in this district will protect student and family privacy and comply with the law.
In a work session, a district staffer actually admitted that they practically “have students’ DNA” in their hands. Of course, this is never an objective that a parent EVER wants to hear from adults in power over positions in education, yet this information was used to justify Summit as a wise choice for DSD.
It is not rigorous. My friend revealed evidence of decreasing rigor scores since Farmington High implemented the program.
**It provides zero evidence of success. Again, there are NO proven teaching methodologies that challenge and progress a child’s knowledge, understanding and wisdom on a given subject the way a teacher and parent can together.
We value personal connections-not internet connections.
There is deep learning loss at Centennial, where they decided to implement it–during a “pandemic.” This was a wrong priority to have during that time. The administration continues to ignore the impact Summit Learning Platform has on a child’s well-being, safety (personal privacy) and his/her academic success. Since then, with its expansion into all grades, it is still a wrong decision by Centennial.
Summit is not improving proficiency or meeting their goals that I’ve seen from data reported at community council meetings. What I do see is deep learning loss and no one doing anything about that.
It is not “free” as the company claims. Nothing is free. It’s at our children’s expense. Our children’s data is being collected, retained and shared, which is too large a cost for families. That is “UNTENABLE! ” The individual school land trusts are funding its use with thousand of dollars, and it’s being upheld through continued DSD digital teaching and learning grants.
In a work session, a [Davis] district staffer actually admitted that they practically "have students DNA" in their hands.
The community does not want it. The community didn’t ask for it.
According to the partnership agreement with Davis School District, Summit is removing local control of education. It puts basic school decisions in the hands of Summit Learning Platform, thus rejecting true stakeholder interests and values in local public education.
Your constituents ask for clear material choice options instead of a one-size-fits-all, forced experimental approach. Why? 1. It’s the law. 2. Because schools are experiencing a deep learning loss across the board, so we resolve that the board rededicate itself to laser focus on improving academic learning – not committing to adopting radical technology programs that provide zero evidence of proven success, especially when there are proven educational methods that parents WANT our schools to implement and expect they choose over radical programs.
Our children, to whom only parents have front row seats, report increased anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation and unnecessary daily frustrations with Summit Learning Platform. A computer program that “uses” our student’s data and information while disregarding rigor and the importance of personal connections that include direct instruction methods has no business in public education.
Please don’t delay writing a resolution or administrative regulation that protects and preserves a child’s right to educational material choices that they request OR simply disallow Summit Learning Platform. It has only proved more troubling for children than anything. How unnecessary.
If parents wanted a facilitator and a computer program to teach any subject, we would have never enrolled them in public schools to begin with. We expect direct instruction and personal connections with a highly qualified teacher and methods and curriculum that we know work!
In addition, our kid’s classes are too large. Teachers need to be hired to decrease the 30 plus class sizes in every single class! It was difficult and, at times, impossible to get into certain classes at Centennial for lack of teachers of certain popular subjects. If it’s popular, let’s offer more, not less, opportunities for children to access those classes. Counseling can clearly see this. I can clearly see this. I’d like the board to consider the implications of these large classes and understand what a big problem this is. More teachers may mean less hired for bureaucracy, but from our personal experiences- the issues are not even getting resolved with four assistant superintendents, but would be greatly relieved by removing the burden for teachers of these huge classes. Such a simple resolution also increases academic proficiency which we desperately need. This is simple logic and reasoning that we ask be applied.
Finally, I had a recent phone call with Jackie Thompson, Assistant Superintendent, who made everything I was saying about race and deflected the District’s responsibility to resolve issues, onto the Department of Justice’s partnership with DSD not being implemented. Somehow she believed that now, with her, the DOJ, a hired consultant, three district coordinators and a director of Equity- they ALL may be able to “finally” resolve issues that parents present, but they ignore! This was her message to me after I detailed the many issues we have faced over just one semester in Davis School District: further ignorance and incompetence. It’s intolerable.
We don’t need the Department of Justice. We never did. We need the district to do THEIR job. We ask you to represent your stakeholders.
Grateful for your service as our board members and representatives.
Mother of Davis Student
Centennial Jr. High School